“Our body is a language, and we are learning that language,” Haley Yeager said, a Natural Family Planning (NFP) instructor with the Diocese of Phoenix.

It was only 10 minutes into the first of five classes titled “The Fifth Vital Sign” and I felt Yeager’s words to my core. I already felt empowered to live out my femininity the way God intended and to see my body’s natural rhythms as being good and a gift from Him.

I didn’t connect the dots that The Fifth Vital Sign referred to NFP, not until Yeager explained what a vital sign is, measurements of the body’s basic functions such as temperature and blood pressure. Fertility is known as that fifth vital sign that is a rich language that speaks so much more than when a woman is fertile or not. Fertility can also clue a woman into the rest of her body and get her attention if there’s something not quite right. I was especially struck by something that Armida Escarcega, the NFP office coordinator said, “Our cycles tell us how to look at the world.” That sounds pretty vital to me.

It’s the third year in a row that the office of Natural Family Planning is hosting this class.
Yeager, Escarcega and others in the office felt as if single women were left on the margins when a class like this was never offered for them. I can attest that I always wished a class like this was offered. I’ve always been so intrigued by NFP and had a desire to learn more about my body but feeling awkward joining a NFP class full of engaged couples. So, when I heard about this class, I instantly knew that this is what I’ve been looking for.

It’s been a few days since the first class and I’m still thinking about my body speaking a language. I’ve never thought of my body as speaking a language and if I did ever think it was speaking a language, I would probably say that it was a language I didn’t speak. I grew up thinking that there was something wrong with my body, or maybe multiple somethings.

One of those somethings that was “wrong” was my irregular cycle as a teenager. Multiple doctors instructed I go on the pill to fix what was “wrong”. It wasn’t until Yeager explained how natural irregular cycles are in the adolescent stage, that I realized that I truly don’t know the language of my body. How often have I missed the language the Lord gave to my body? How often have I believed the lie that my body was the problem when I actually didn’t know the language my body was trying to speak to me?

As I awkwardly get used to tracking my cycle until the next class, I’ll be approaching this world with my eyes a little more open to the beautiful body God gave me that has been telling a language since my first breath, a language I am just beginning to pay attention to.

For more information, or to sign up for the next class opening, please contact nfp_admin@dphx.org or 602-354-2122. Follow us on Instagram at @phoenix.nfp.